“The photographers at the shows are all at the back so they get a clear photograph with nothing disturbing, they get a plain wall, it’s all fun. But they’re getting everything straight on. Well fashion is not that way. You have to know in an instant ‘oh the angle is this – and the detail is that’. It’s not straight on. I just like it from the side so I can get a front, a back, a profile - hopefully. Most of the time I miss it. But I try.” –Bill Cunningham
The above quote is a passage from the documentary Bill Cunningham New York. Cunningham, mostly known for his iconic off-runway street style photographs (he has been dubbed the father of street style), has also been photographing fashion shows since the early 50s. As a fixture on the fashion scene, he’s witnessed firsthand Christian Dior’s New Look, Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking and every important fashion movement since.
Bill’s quote about angle and detail served as a sort of inspiration while covering Line Knitwear’s fall 2013 show, from my not-so-front-row seat. In today’s world, where many bloggers completely disregard online image copyrights, I take pride knowing that all the images now featured on my website are taken by yours truly.
The beautiful textures at Line’s fall show were a photographer’s dream, and boy they came by the layers. The front and backs of the looks told totally different stories: from one angle, the eyes could feast on the juxtaposition of the rich fabrics, and from another angle the audience was left in awe at incredible detailing. Line designers John Muscat and Jennifer Wells showed a fully dimensional, street worthy collection, and the clothes are bound to gain attention from the Cunninghams of the world. Olives, creams, golds, and blacks were the show’s colour palette, and full, thick waffle and fisherman’s knit sweaters provided as the brand’s classic backbone for the collection. Some knits were dipped with gold coating, others done with a houndstooth-meets-camouflage print. A beautiful wrap sweater resembled smooth metamorphic rock.
Leather was the other fabric of choice, taking shape in circle skirts, ribbed and perforated jackets, laced eyelet tops and skirts, as well as panelling on blazers, pants and jackets. Line ventured into a bit of tailoring with some single buttoned blazers.
The full skirts, turtlenecks, and oversized sweaters evoked relaxed nineties schoolgirl, and a turtleneck with oversized round sequins hinted toward sixties mod – I could see Twiggy posing for Cecil Beaton or Richard Avedon in it.
The show thrived in encapsulating current fashion trends and offered them up in a much more wearable way. Sure some of the baroque metallic gold textures, leather panelling and belted jackets weren’t ground-breaking, but designers John and Jennifer deconstructed these trends (frequented by fashion’s forefront in recent seasons) in wearable ways true to the brand’s heritage - and that in itself is commendable.